Cadet Cadre Learn Value of Teamwork During First 100 Yards Demo
Senior drill sergeants from 2-19th Infantry Battalion, 198th Infantry Training Brigade One Station Unit Training (OSUT), Fort Benning, Georgia, came to West Point to prepare cadet cadre to execute a new program known as the "First 100 Yards" to use in place of the ‘shark attack’ to welcome incoming new cadets on R Day.
The drill sergeants’ presence at the academy also reflected a change of course in U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. For decades, during Army basic training, drill sergeants used the ‘shark attack’ approach to bring a trainee into compliance with Army doctrines. Historically, the Army developed the ‘shark attack’ approach during a time when draftees made up a majority of the force. Learning to overcome the stresses of being an infantry Soldier was a significant aspect of the ‘shark attack,’ but last year, COVID-19 dramatically changed the atmosphere of that traditional training environment.
Drill sergeants no longer welcomed new recruits with unabated shouting. Instead, the 198th Infantry Training Brigade OSUT created a new program to use in place of the ‘shark attack’ known as the “First 100 Yards.”
The command sergeant major for the 2-19th Infantry Battalion, Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph McAuliffe, stood before the cadet cadre and welcomed them to the “First 100 Yards” demonstration and quoted a line from the First 100-Yards principle, which refers to the efforts of World War I Soldiers to underscore the importance of overcoming adversity to complete an objective. Full story.